10-06-2013, 07:40 AM
#1
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I completely understand that the FDA is designed to protect consumers but they really overstep their bounds when it comes to wet shaving supplies. Recently, I have been having a hell of a time trying to import pretty much everything. Several weeks ago, I had posted about Tabac products and how I can no longer import the shave sticks, hair cream and aftershave balm due to labeling. My understanding is the way that the coloring agent is listed in the ingredients does not meet the FDA requirements. Mind you, the FDA has no issue with the actual ingredients...just they way they are presented on the label.

Since posting about Tabac, the list of what I cannot import has grown exponentially. I have a shipment of Palmolive in FDA purgatory; they can either ship it back to Europe or destroy it. Wonderful!! I need to call the FDA on Monday to see if they can come up with a 3rd option.

Today, I was told that I cannot import DR Harris because the weights listed are metric and not Imperial. I guess if the weight was listed in "stones" or "drachms" I would be OK. Angry

This is the time of year that vendors try to stock up for the holidays and it is a really bad time to be encountering a gaggle of Barney Fifes.

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 10-06-2013, 08:23 AM
#2
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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This is really beginning to get ridiculous. I wonder how much money Proctor & Gamble and other companies in the cosmetics business slip to the FDA because nothing would surprise me anymore?

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 10-06-2013, 08:27 AM
#3
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That's really too bad, Phil. The next step is for Homeland Security to get involved....

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 10-06-2013, 08:50 AM
#4
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Phil,

Forgive me, because I know this will sound trite.

As a first step, have you contacted your Congressman and Senator?

Secondly, is there a name, or office at the FDA that's included in the communique that you've received regarding these absurd rulings?

Where this does not become trite, is that there are a lot of people in the shave forums, who could be encouraged to exert some political pressure against an ill-informed ruling.

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 10-06-2013, 10:07 AM
#5
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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No wonder this country is going to hell...run by morons trying to put everyone out of business....sad!!!SadSadSadSad

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 10-06-2013, 11:00 AM
#6
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Wow, Phil! That is quite a process you are experiencing!
Best of luck to you.

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 10-06-2013, 11:17 AM
#7
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(10-06-2013, 08:50 AM)redrako Wrote: Phil,

Forgive me, because I know this will sound trite.

As a first step, have you contacted your Congressman and Senator?

Secondly, is there a name, or office at the FDA that's included in the communique that you've received regarding these absurd rulings?

Where this does not become trite, is that there are a lot of people in the shave forums, who could be encouraged to exert some political pressure against an ill-informed ruling.

I have not contacted my Congressman but that is a good idea. It certainly cannot hurt. In talking to other vendors as well as distributors, this has become a huge problem in the past 2 months for whatever reason. I am never contacted directly by the FDA but rather through a customs broker (in this case a UPS broker) who delivers the bad news. The customs broker did give me the name of a contact with the FDA and I will be on the horn with him on Monday.

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 10-06-2013, 12:23 PM
#8
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(10-06-2013, 07:40 AM)bullgoose Wrote: Today, I was told that I cannot import DR Harris because the weights listed are metric and not Imperial. I guess if the weight was listed in "stones" or "drachms" I would be OK. Angry

Weird - last I checked the US was slowly catching up with the rest of the world and starting to use the metric system... a bit of digging online have revealed a couple of interesting factoids:
- In 1866, an act of Congress, signed into law by President Andrew Johnson, made it "lawful throughout the United States of America to employ the weights and measures of the metric system in all contracts, dealings or court proceedings."
- Congress passed amendments to the Metric Conversion Act in 1988, designating the metric system as the "preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce" and requiring federal agencies to use "the metric system of measurement in its procurements, grants, and other business-related activities" by the end of 1992.

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 10-06-2013, 01:20 PM
#9
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(10-06-2013, 12:23 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(10-06-2013, 07:40 AM)bullgoose Wrote: Today, I was told that I cannot import DR Harris because the weights listed are metric and not Imperial. I guess if the weight was listed in "stones" or "drachms" I would be OK. Angry

Weird - last I checked the US was slowly catching up with the rest of the world and starting to use the metric system... a bit of digging online have revealed a couple of interesting factoids:
- In 1866, an act of Congress, signed into law by President Andrew Johnson, made it "lawful throughout the United States of America to employ the weights and measures of the metric system in all contracts, dealings or court proceedings."
- Congress passed amendments to the Metric Conversion Act in 1988, designating the metric system as the "preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce" and requiring federal agencies to use "the metric system of measurement in its procurements, grants, and other business-related activities" by the end of 1992.

Hans, I really think it has less to do with US law than bureaucratic BS. However this is all coming about, it's apparently not just Phil. You can probably show these nut jobs the laws and they might just smile and say "see you in court". I would bet that it has less to do with weight and ingredients info. than 'imports' in general; unless of course you're GM, GE, etc.

Phil, I like the idea of getting in touch with your congressmen, and ladies. I could be wrong, but I believe they're of the same political persuasion as the administration; certainly your senators. Maybe they could just ask 'why'.

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 10-06-2013, 04:14 PM
#10
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Phil,

Reading your reply reminded me of something else that may be helpful.

My initial thoughts were that all US shave vendors must have the same concerns as you. Even though you are competitors, I'm sure that you all area affected by the same supply challenges. I was imaging all of the folks who spend a lot of time on shave forums, being angry enough to direct some emails/phone calls or some kind of appropriate communications to officials who can change this policy whether it be an elected official or an administrative one.

Yet as you're pointing out this has to affect a much greater number of businesses that import products from outside the US. At the same time, I imagine most of those businesses don't normally talk to each other, or even know how to get in touch with each other for that matter.

If it would be easy enough to mobilize folks in the shaving community to voice their opinions, I'm having a harder time imaging a similar flash mob of shave activism. Perhaps it would spread from the shave forums? Perhaps the hash tags of Twitter, or Reddit - I don't know.

I do know that what you do is important and worth advocating for.

Finally, I'm sorry that you have to go through crap like this. On one level it's par for the course, but I'm sure that you have other things that you would prefer doing.

Best Regards,

Bob

(10-06-2013, 11:17 AM)bullgoose Wrote:
(10-06-2013, 08:50 AM)redrako Wrote: Phil,

Forgive me, because I know this will sound trite.

As a first step, have you contacted your Congressman and Senator?

Secondly, is there a name, or office at the FDA that's included in the communique that you've received regarding these absurd rulings?

Where this does not become trite, is that there are a lot of people in the shave forums, who could be encouraged to exert some political pressure against an ill-informed ruling.

I have not contacted my Congressman but that is a good idea. It certainly cannot hurt. In talking to other vendors as well as distributors, this has become a huge problem in the past 2 months for whatever reason. I am never contacted directly by the FDA but rather through a customs broker (in this case a UPS broker) who delivers the bad news. The customs broker did give me the name of a contact with the FDA and I will be on the horn with him on Monday.

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 10-06-2013, 05:27 PM
#11
  • Johnny
  • Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Ask all your European suppliers to ship through China. Everything from China gets through.

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 10-07-2013, 07:39 AM
#12
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Now I am being told that the coloring agents in Palmolive have been banned. The story keeps changing but it looks like Palmolive Classic Shave Cream can no longer be imported. Angry

Dear Mr. Huntsinger

The entry is not detained on labeling charges. Several of the colors used have been banned from US cosmetic products. See FDA notice.

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 10-07-2013, 07:53 AM
#13
  • P Funk
  • I can only carry 50 chickens at a time
  • Bay Area, NorCal
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(10-07-2013, 07:39 AM)bullgoose Wrote: Now I am being told that the coloring agents in Palmolive have been banned. The story keeps changing but it looks like Palmolive Classic Shave Cream can no longer be imported. Angry

Dear Mr. Huntsinger

The entry is not detained on labeling charges. Several of the colors used have been banned from US cosmetic products. See FDA notice.

Interesting...our food is not required to be labeled gmo as it is in Europe and most of the world. But use the wrong color and bam! Hey I have no problem banning certain ingredients if they are deemed toxic. But it seems totally arbitrary which leaves motivations unclear. And communication with vendors/distributors seems just as random.
freddy's comment about P+G seems on point...

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 10-07-2013, 07:53 AM
#14
  • Johnny
  • Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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That's their first mistake, classifying a shaving soap as a cosmetic.

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 10-07-2013, 09:29 AM
#15
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Well, the right hand does not seem to know what the left hand is doing. I contacted the FDA to inquire about my shipment and to see what my options are and I received the following response.

Dear MR. Huntsinger

You will have to check with the importer of record UPS to find out.


UPS tells me to check with the FDA while the FDA tells me to check with UPS. It seems as if I am in an endless loop. Angry

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 10-07-2013, 12:45 PM
#16
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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The final decision on this shipment has been handed down. They will take the Palmolive shave cream out of the shipment and destroy it and then charge me an extra $55 for doing so. It is kind of like an execution in China where they send a bill for the cost of the bullet. Dodgy

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 10-07-2013, 12:52 PM
#17
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Wow ... so reassuring to know that our tax dollars are put to such good use ... a bureaucracy that's trying to protect the American population from the ravages of 'rogue' cosmetic coloring agents ... Blank

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 10-07-2013, 01:30 PM
#18
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(10-07-2013, 12:52 PM)Agravic Wrote: Wow ... so reassuring to know that our tax dollars are put to such good use ... a bureaucracy that's trying to protect the American population from the ravages of 'rogue' cosmetic coloring agents ... Blank

The funny thing is they will allow consumers to order this same product from Europe as long as it is for personal use. So...who exactly are they protecting? Makes no sense!

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 10-07-2013, 02:29 PM
#19
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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This is plain sick! Angry

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 10-07-2013, 03:31 PM
#20
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This post has been deleted due to its political nature.

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